I love creatives and creators because they don’t limit themselves as much as others do. They explore, fail or succeed, grow and keep the adventure spirit alive. They take on projects and tasks that help them expand their knowledge bank and give back to the society from the depths of their wells.
Self-limitation is a trait everyone at some point or the other has experienced and may still be experiencing. This may be a thought, belief or practice that stems from a lot of different factors relating either to an individual or a group of people. What is self-limitation?
Limitation could mean a lot of different things for different people. It could be a restriction, weakness, deficiency, imperfection, flaw, inability, control or just anything limiting a person to achieve his or her full potentials. Some limitations are self-imposed, others may be bound to a group one belongs to or sometimes, it’s dependent on the norm and culture of a people which has been there for generations.
The different reasons why people consciously and unconsciously limit themselves include:
- Fear of leaving their comfort zones. So, they decide to play small or safe without trying to risk anything that will affect their comfort. They settle for an abusive relationship, job, environment because they’d rather stick to the familiar than launch into the deep and start all over or build with what they have. Sometimes, it might be because they won’t have what to fall back on when they leave and that’s understandable, but if you don’t taste a different flavor of ice cream, you won’t know what you’re missing.
- Fear of being judged. Sometimes, rather than try something new because of what people will say, we withdraw and hide in our shells because well, that’s where comfort is and we won’t have people shading us, throwing negative criticisms at us, questioning our decisions and actions. However, we forget that we can’t please everyone and people will always judge every wrong or right turn we take. We can’t always expect getting validation from people because their words alone can go a long way in crippling our self-esteem, worth and confidence. So, go on and be the real you because that’s the best thing you can do for yourself.
- Self-discovery. This is one major reason why people limit themselves because they don’t know who they are, what they want, what to do and as a result of these uncertainties, they relax and do what they’re either familiar with or what they can at the time. Discovering who we truly are, our preferences and strengths, opens us up to opportunities to improve our skills, gain knowledge and experience, build confidence, relationships and helps us grow personally.
- Negativity. There’s a scripture that says “…as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” We are the products of what we believe and say. You can’t go around thinking of of yourself as a failure and expect to succeed. Same way you can’t keep telling yourself you’re not good enough, you don’t have what it takes and you expect a miracle to happen. No!. Positive and optimistic people who back up their thoughts and words with action are the ones making it in life because they believe in themselves and work towards turning their weaknesses to strengths.
- “He that walketh with the wise shall be wise…” Who do you surround yourself with? You need to be around people who inspire, challenge, support, encourage and believe in you. You can’t go around with people who do not have a growth and success mindset and are not backing up their words with actions.
- Fear of rejection and heart break. When we ask, we only expect a response, but what we don’t know is if it will be positive or negative. You might be rejected, but that doesn’t mean you will always be rejected. A relationship can end, but it doesn’t mean another relationship will end same way the previous one did- it might not even end at all. However, whether you’re rejected or heart broken, you should be grateful for the confidence and positive attitude you had to at least try. There’ll definitely be lessons from it and another opportunity to move on and do better.
- Fear of failure. I see failure as feedback because it is always backed up with lessons on what wasn’t right and there is always another opportunity to try again and do better.
There are other reasons why people limit themselves, but the good thing about living without a limiting mindset and attitude is the opportunity it gives each person to dream big and explore. You can improve your skills, be yourself, stay confident, get productive, reduce doubts with a positive mindset, stop procrastinating and achieving a lot more. I need you to believe that you can do all things…yes you can. So, as far as your eyes can see, that’s what you should aim for and i’ll leave you with this favorite line of mine from Lion King which has been my go to each time self-limiting thoughts try to re-center on my mind.